3D Printing COVID-19 Response, Pt. 1, 4/10
The 3D printing industry updates concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the industry within the past seven days include partnerships between companies such as Neurophotometrics and Markforged and BONE3D and Stratasys, a new initiative by Materialise, and the Stopgap 3D mask by 3D Systems. We also identified a report about the successful production of protective visors by the University of Liverpool.
University of Liverpool
- On the 3rd of April 2020, Engineers at the University of Liverpool announced that they have successfully produced protective visors for use in local hospitals through their experience in laser cutting and 3D printing technology.
- According to a publication by the University, "the protective visors, developed in conjunction with NHS staff at local hospitals (including the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital, Aintree University Hospital, and Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust), use a hybrid design approach with a laser-cut top section and a 3-D printed bottom section."
- The Laser cutting technology used helped reduce the time of production from six hours to 30 minutes, while the local industry is helping to orchestrate production.
- The staff and Ph.D. students of the University's Active Learning Laboratory are helping with initial batch production of 50-100 protective visors daily while nursing the plans of increasing the number to hundreds per day within the coming weeks.
- The device will be delivered to three hospitals in the local region in the next few days with other local hospitals soon to follow suit.
- A video description of the production process is provided herein.
BONE3D installation of Stratasys FDM 3D printers at Paris Hospital
- In union with Stratasys and University of Paris, BONE3D, a French medical 3D printing company, announced on the 8th of April, that it had installed 61 3D printers at the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris.
- According to 3D Adept, the investment is the largest ever made in a “manufacturer’s portfolio since the beginning of the sanitary crisis and to combat this pandemic.”
- The installation will help with the intermittent supply of equipment such as electrical syringe pumps, protective face shields and masks, intubation equipment, and respirator valves.
- Bone3D medical printing service providers will help the hospital with the appropriate management, operation and support, and implementation of the fleet.
- In alignment with the implementation of the printers, the hospital has developed a customized 3D printing platform at 3dcovid.org to help fast-track requests for 3D-related projects from medical practitioners within Paris and its surroundings.
Stopgap 3D Printed Mask
- The United States Veterans Health Administration and 3D Systems have partnered to develop a stopgap 3D printed mask. The development, which was announced on the 8th of April, will help reduce the shortage of PPE among health care professionals.
- The SFM comprises the “3D printed mask and filter cover, two elastic strips, and a rectangular patch of filter material, and can be reprocessed using disinfectants and autoclaved.”
- It is also available in different sizes and is printed using a biocompatible nylon material leveraging the selective laser sintering technology method.
- The equipment will be used for medical purposes when the standard PPE is unavailable or in less critical non-medical environments that do not require compliant PPE.
- An image of the Stopgap mask design is provided herein, also with an image of the finished work.
New Initiative from Materialise
- On the 6th of April, Materialise announced that it had developed a solution to assist with the delivery of oxygen at high positive pressure in the absence of a ventilator.
- According to the company, “a 3D printed connector converts standard equipment already available in most hospitals into a non-invasive PEEP mask (NIP) that can be connected to the oxygen supply (to facilitate breathing for coronavirus patients).”
- The new design offers patients additional time before a mechanical ventilator is required for treatment and also help with transitioning them off ventilators earlier, in order to free up the ventilators for critical patients.
- The connector uses a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) mask, a PEEP valve, and a filter, making the solution simple and familiar enough to be used by medical professionals.
- The NIP Connectors will be “manufactured at the company’s ISO 13485 certified facilities in Belgium and Plymouth, Michigan and on-site 3D printing facilities of qualified partners.”
- The company predicts that the device will be in circulation in hospitals by mid-April. Materialise is also looking for partners to help get the device to as many patients as possible.
- An image of the 3D connector design by Materialise is provided herein.
Neurophotometrics and Markforged partnership
- On the 9th of April, Markforged, a “metal and carbon fiber 3D printer manufacturer, is partnering with Neurophotometrics to produce Fiberflex Rayon, a 3D printed nasopharyngeal (NP) swab for use in diagnostic testing for COVID-19.”
- Greg Mark, the chief executive at Markforged, opined that the swabs were produced to help meet with the shortage in supply being experienced by hospitals and also to curb the report about false swabs available in the market.
- With the help of the “San Diego COVID Research Enterprise Network (SCREEN) Initiative, a group of scientists, students, research institutions, and others in the San Diego area — Neurophotometrics, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, the Scripps Research Institute, and the University of California San Diego designed and tested the 3D printed swabs with fifty volunteers.”
- A retest was carried out on COVID-19 positive patients three to fourteen days after their first diagnosis with both the 3D printed swab and the commercial swab. The test with the commercial swab detected the presence of the virus in most patients, while all the 3D printed swabs tests returned positive, confirming the high efficiency of the 3D printed swab.
- The design consists of a 3D printed nylon swab base with a wrapped rayon tip to gather the viral specimens.
- The group is currently making 10,000 swabs daily, and nursing plans to scale up production to 100,000 per day.